Notes on the Multisyllable Conversion

The sequence of Chinese syllables in Ukrainian transcription, dependant on their sense and intention of the author, may be written separately (with spaces), together (using apostrophes for adequate syllable breaking), or, if necessary, with hyphens.


In Pinyin apostrophe is written before a, e, o, if they begin a new syllable. In Ukrainian transcription this transparency is lost. Sometimes we need to leave, sometimes to add and sometimes we have to remove the apostrophe. But every time the main principle of using the apostrophe is the possibility of unambiguous return to the original Pinyin syllable.

In Russian transcription in the place of apostrophe can appear hard sign («ъ») or hyphen.

We use apostrophe in the following joints of syllables:

  • when rendering in Ukrainian the joints of syllables, first of which ends in ng («н») or r («р»), and second begins with a, e, o («а», «е», «о»);
    (joints: g'a, g'e, g'o, r'a, r'e, r'o).
  • when rendering in Ukrainian the joints of syllables, first of which ends in ng («н») or r («р»), and second begins with ya, ye, yo, yi, yu, wu («я», «є», «йо», «і», «юй», «у»).
    In Pinyin there is no apostrophe here: its role play w and y, which indicate the beginning of a new syllable;
    (joints: gya, gye, gyo, gyi, gyu, gwu, rya, rye, ryo, ryi, ryu, rwu).
  • owu – in the joints of syllables ending in «о» (o), before the syllable «у» (wu): «по'у» (powu), «мо'у» (mowu), «фо'у» (fowu) etc., as well as in the joints «до'у» (duowu), «ко'у» (kuowu), «цзо'у» (zuowu) etc., to avoid their confusion with the whole syllables «поу» (pou), «моу» (mou), «фоу» (fou), and «доу» (dou), «коу» (kou), «цзоу» (zou) respectively (bowu = «бо'у» and wowu = «во'у» as well, even though the syllables bou and wou do not exist and there is no ambiguity here).
    In Pinyin there is no apostrophe here: its role plays w, which indicates the beginning of a new syllable.
  • a'o: when we need to distinguish: «бао» (bao) and «ба'о» (ba'o), «ляо» (liao) and «ля'о» (lia'o) or «баоу» (baowu) and «ба'оу» (ba'ou) etc.
  • u'a: when we need to distinguish «ґуа» (gua) and «ґу'а» (gu'a), «ґуай» (guai) and «ґу'ай» (gu'ai), «ґуань» (guan) and «ґу'ань» (gu'an), «ґуан» (guang) and «ґу'ан» (gu'ang) and other syllables with the diphthong ua and the respective syllable joints. Not all the initials accept the finals ua, uai, uan, uang, but, following the approach of the authors of Pinyin, to avoid the misunderstandings, we break with apostrophe all the joints u'a («у'а»).
  • i'o: after the syllables ending in «й» (i), before «о» (to break «йо»): «цай'о» (cai'o), «мей'о» (mei'o), to avoid the confusion with other compounds of syllables – «цайо» (cayo), «мейо» (meyo) etc. (for the compound bei'o as well, although there is no ambiguity, given that the syllable be does not exist and the compound beyo is impossible).
  • iu'e: when we need to distinguish «ню'е» (niu'e) and «нюе» (nüe), «лю'е» (liu'e) and «люе» (lüe), «цю'е» (qiu'e) and «цюе» (que), «сю'е» (xiu'e) and «сюе» (xue), «цзю'е» (jiu'e) and «цзюе» (jue), «ю'е» (you'e) and «юе» (yue) (miu'e = «мю'е» and diu'e = «дю'е» as well, although in Chinese language there are no syllables «мюе» and «дюе»);
    - however, there is no need of apostrophe in the joints u'e (ü'e): «юйе» (yu'e), «нюйе» (nü'e), «люйе» (lü'e), «цзюйе» (ju'e), «цюйе» (qu'e), «сюйе» (xu'e), as well as in the hard compounds like «чу+е» (chu'e), which never make a syllable.

Notes on the Transcription Systems Used in the Converter

This converter was created, first of all, for the specialists who not being sinologists yet need to render accurately and unambiguously the philosophical concepts, personal names, treatises titles by the means of Ukrainian language. In this particular case the creation of converter was stimulated by the experience of solving the problems of transcription of Chinese vocabulary in the process of writing author's own monograph.

The transcription systems used in this converter (tables of syllables are given according to: [Ошанин 1983, pp. 440–442]):

  • Pinyin (full name: Hanyu Pinyin 汉语拼音) – modern standard international transcription of Chinese language
  • TRT – traditional Russian transcription (Palladius system)

Ukrainian transcription. Now there are different approaches to its creation (see Bibliography). The Ukrainian transcription of the syllables of Chinese language used in the converter is based on the following principles:

  • possibility of unambiguous conversion in writing from a set of syllables in one transcription to a set of syllables in another one
  • succession with respect to traditional Russian transcription (TRT)
  • accent on preservation of recognizability of the vocabulary of terms and proper names traditionally used in Ukrainian and Russian scholarly texts and abstention in this regard from introducing radical changes to the TRT.


r = «ж»

In Chinese language there is no sound «р» («річка») at all, but there is sound «л» («ліс»); it is notable that in Japanese, conversely, there is no sound «л», but there is sound «р». Due to this fact the letter r resulted unused. Thus, it was decided to designate by the Latin r the Chinese sound «ж» (ren = «жень»).

n = «нь», ng = «н»

In Chinese language the words consist not of letters but of syllables (one syllable is one character). Every syllable ends in vowel or in consonant «н», which may be conditionally soft or hard: n («нь») or ng («н», but not «нг»); only one syllable in Chinese alphabet ends in different consonant – r (here pronounced not as «ж», but like French r).

«і» or «и»

When transcribing the Eastern languages, and Chinese in particular, by the means of Ukrainian language we encounter the problem of whether to apply the "9's rule" (правило дев’ятки).

In which syllables do we write «и»:


In which syllables do we write «і»:


As we can see, the 9's rule cannot be applied here, otherwise the distinction between several groups of syllables would be lost:

ci – qi(ци – ці)
si – xi(си – сі)
zi – ji(цзи – цзі)

Thus, when і (Latin) is hard, we render it with «и» (as in «цибуля», «сир», «зиск»), and when it is soft – with «і» (as in «ціна», «сік», «зірка»).

It is obvious that the authors of Ukrainian orthography did not aim at all at the creation of scientific transcription of Chinese language. However, the progress of Ukrainian science and development of interdisciplinary relations between its different branches require from us to take into account, first of all, the specifics of one or another object of research.

hui = «хуй»/«хуей»

Following I. M. Oshanin, we render the syllables chui, cui, dui, gui, hui, kui, rui, shui, sui, tui, zhui, zui as «чуй», «цуй», «дуй», «ґуй», «хуй», «куй», «жуй», «шуй», «суй», «туй», «чжуй», «цзуй» respectively. This designation (ui) in writing of the Chinese final, which sounds as uеi (е sounds shortly), is an established standard, and therefore in scientific usage we don't see need to extract from this row the syllable hui and to transcribe it as «хуей». Because in such a case we should change the spelling of all the rest of these syllables to: «чуей», «цуей», «дуей», «ґуей» etc. Moreover, using the variant «хуей» results in loss of unambiguity and, as a result, makes impossible the reproduction of original Pinyin syllable: since it is impossible to decide whether it is supposed to represent one syllable hui («хуй») or two syllables hu'ei («ху»+«ей» = «хуей») are meant.

wu = «у» or «ву»?
= «і» or «ї»?

The syllables of Chinese alphabet are formed by adding to the initial (consonant) one of its possible finales (one vowel / diphthong / triphthong), for instance: g+a=ga, g+ui=gui, g+uai=guai or k+a=ka, k+ui=kui, k+uai=kuai etc. When the finals are used separately, as independent syllables, they look like this (in the case of set of finales beginning with u and i):


Thus, in the beginning of a syllable u is written as w, and i as y. In the case of a single u, or i, formally it is impossible to form such syllable, and therefore it is written as wu, or yi, respectively (according to the explanation to the table of Pinyin syllables in the documentation of ISO 7098:2015).

Accordingly, w and y are not initials, and from the very beginning were specially introduced – not to render the phonetic sounding, but only for the purposes of conventional designation in writing of the beginning of a new syllable (due to this convention, between two syllables there is no need to use apostrophe before w and y; while we need apostrophe before syllables beginning with a, e, o).

We may note as well that in the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) yi is transcribed as [i]. The system of Wade-Giles uses i as well.

Thus, there is no need to render wu as «ву» and yi as «ї» in Ukrainian transcription.


Китайско-русский словарь 汉俄词典 / Под ред. Ся Чжун-и  夏仲毅. – Пекин: «Шанъу иньшугуань» 北京:商务印书馆, 1990. – 1250 с.

Кірносова Н.А. Засади транскрибування китайської лексики українською мовою // Сходознавство. – Вип. 45–46. – Київ, 2009. – C. 38–57. – Режим доступу:

Колодко С.А. Китайсько-український словник: 80 000 слів. – К.; ТОВ «Видавництво «Консультант», 2004. – 1176 с.

Несина І. Кодифікація китайських лексичних запозичень у словниках // Мовні і концептуальні картини світу. – 2013. – Вип. 46(3). – С. 57–65. – Режим доступу:

Таблица записи слогов китайского языка новым китайским фонетическим алфавитом и в традиционной русской транскрипции // Большой китайско-русский словарь (華俄大辭典) в 4-х томах / Под ред. И. М. Ошанина. – Т. 1. – М.: Главная редакция восточной литературы издательства «Наука», 1983. – С. 440–442.

Cihai 辞海 (Encyclopedic Dictionary of Chinese Language "Cihai"). – Shanghai: Shanghai cishu chubanshe 上海:上海辞书出版社, 1979. – 2216 p.


Pinyin-Ukrainian-Russian Chinese Transcriptions Converter
拼音西里尔字母轉換工具 (乌克兰语/俄罗斯语)

This tool allows you to convert between recommended by Chinese government official and standard international transcription Pinyin (拼音) and Ukrainian/Russian Cyrillic transcriptions.

The single syllables, words, phrases and texts can be converted.

A text in Chinese characters (hanzi) (for instance, "Daodejing") now can be fully translated into Ukrainian transcription. To do this you need to convert the Chinese characters to Pinyin, first (for example, here), and then using this tool convert Pinyin into Ukrainian transcription.

For more details about the systems of transcription used in this converter click here. Special notes concerning the multisyllable conversion see here.

The sounding of all the syllables of Pinyin can be found, for example, here or here.

To convert between other transcriptions, including conversion between Pinyin and Wade-Giles (system of transcription used in Western scientific literature) click here.


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   * Characters not subject to conversion are marked with red color.

Technical notes:

  • For detailed Information about converter and transcription used in it, click the yellow check-mark on the right under the text area of converter.
  • Please note that this converter is not designed for translation purposes. So, for instance, Beijing will be converted to «Бейцзін» and not to «Пекін».
  • The converter also is not designed for spell check (the nonexistent syllables simply are not converted and will be returned marked with red color).
  • If the Ukrainian keyboard layout is not set on your computer, please enter the Ukrainian (Cyrillic) «і» using the button above the converter textarea and not from the Latin keyboard: the computer codes of the letter «і» in Latin and in Cyrillic character set are not identical, therefore the conversion results impossible.
  • In the TRT transcription «ло» renders two Pinyin syllables: luo and lo (very rare). You have to choose, according to the context, the variant which corresponds to the reading of the source character (by default in the converter the much more frequent syllable luo is used).
  • The syllable go («го»), present in the I. M. Оshanin table, is absent in the modern Pinyin table and is excluded from the converter. At the same time in Pinyin there is a frequently used syllable guo, which according to the rules of TRT is transcribed as «го» as well.
  • The syllable hui in the converter is rendered as «хуй», since the usage of the variant «хуей» results in loss of unambiguity and, as a result, makes impossible the reproduction of original Pinyin syllable: it is impossible to decide whether it is supposed to represent one syllable hui («хуй») or two syllables hu'ei («ху+ей») are meant.
  • The syllables hm, hng, m, mm, n, ng, present in the I. M. Оshanin table, are excluded from the converter, given that they are too rare in usage, but their conversion can cause, in turn, important misunderstandings, for instance: we enter «люн» → liun (it seems that the syllable «люн» is entered, yet really we are dealing with two syllables: «лю» + «н» (liu + n). Meanwhile the syllable «люн» does not exist in Chinese alphabet at all.
  • The compounds of a range of syllables with er (banr, huar, nar, zher etc.), more typical for oral language, are not included in the converter (in Ukrainian transcription, like the TRT, they can be schematically rendered by appending the letter «р»: «баньр», «хуар», «нар», «чжер» etc.).
  • In Ukrainian and Russian transcription systems the tones of Chinese syllables traditionally are not rendered in any way. Therefore, they are not used in this converter (in the text field for conversion, however, you can enter Pinyin with or without tone marks).